APRIL 20, 1953
NEW YORK, Sunday—President Eisenhower's speech before American newspaper editors in Washington last Thursday was a very fine one, and a great deal of thought and care must have gone into it. The speech is a challenge to the Soviets to reply that they are ready to take up the specific points one by one and negotiate each of them to a peaceful solution.
In describing the path we have followed since the war, the President gave the Soviets a clear background for their understanding of how matters look to us. The five points he gave as precepts which govern the conduct of the U.S. in world affairs seem to me a fine statement of our ideals. I liked particularly what followed:
"In the light of these principles, the citizens of the United States defined the way they proposed to follow, through the aftermath of war, toward true peace.
"This way was faithful to the spirit that inspired the United Nations: To prohibit strife, to relieve tensions, to banish fears. This way was to control and to reduce armaments.
"This way was to allow all nations to devote their energies and resources to the great and good tasks of healing the war's wounds, of clothing and feeding and housing the needy, of perfecting a just political life, of enjoying the fruits of their own toil."
Later the President made it crystal clear what this preparedness, which we had been forced to build up, costs in terms of what we might otherwise do under peace conditions. The cost of one modern heavy bomber, for example, equals a modern brick school in more than 30 cities! That is simple enough for any of us to understand and can be translated into terms of what we might do for other parts of the world if we were relieved of our present burden.
I also particularly liked this statement:
"We are ready, in short, to dedicate our strength to serving the needs, rather than the fears, of the world.
"We are ready, by these and all such actions, to make of the United Nations an institution that can effectively guard the peace and security of all peoples."
This speech said all of the things that many of us want to say. The President spoke with the voice of the American people. But one must go beyond speeches, and the difficulties will come in the negotiations. These will be difficult and delicate, and good faith on both sides will be questioned. But slowly we can perhaps prove ourselves worthy of confidence, and gain confidence in others if they strive to act with justice and honesty. If the President insists on positive leadership and in constant pressing forward to real negotiations, we may be on our way to the peaceful atmosphere the world longs to feel.